I tried Saddle #4 today.
Saddle #1 = Saddle that came with my bike, Riva Sport Plus, 155 mm
Saddle #2 = Selle Italia SLR Lady Flow, 131 mm
You can see this saddle looks visibly different from the one above. I bought it because of the large gap, but what I didn’t realize was how much narrower it was.
Saddle #3 = Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow, 152 mm
I hoped this one would be a compromise between the hard, racing saddle with the large channel, and the more cushioned saddle that came with my bike. However, it felt just like the one that came with my bike (not comfortable.)
Saddle #4 = Specialized Power saddle, 155 mm
There are a bunch of different versions of this saddle, and I bought the cheapest, the Power Comp. The more expensive versions are lighter and in some cases less padded. I’m definitely not in a situation where ounces matter, and less padding doesn’t seem ideal. The version I got was not particularly well padded. The version I got wasn’t very padded, so I can only imagine how hard the unpadded version is.
Anyway, I’ve now done about 40 mi on the Specialized Power, and it’s definitely the best option so far. It’s a marked improvement over the saddle that came with my bike. With my original saddle, I really started experiencing serious discomfort by around 30 mi, and felt I just couldn’t go much more than about 40 mi with it. I’m cautiously optimistic that a better saddle for me will allow me to cycle longer distances. I do have one more to try, and then I’ll make a decision and sell or return the rejects.
Today’s 30 mi ride featured more than 2000 feet of elevation gain. It’s definitely the hilliest ride I’ve done this year, and it featured two particularly difficult hills. I don’t mind a long, gradual hill, even if it climbs a substantial amount of elevation. However, the very steep sections, just kill me, even if they’re relatively short. The first hill was only about 130 ft, per Strava, but was about half 11% grade or more. The second hill was 250 ft and also included a large section at 11% or more. I did manage to get to the top, but only just.